Identifying Intercultural Problems between German and Polish Students using the Extended Critical Incident Analysis

Gundula Gwenn Hiller


Using a survey of students from two national groups as an example, this paper shows how culture-contrastive research can be performed utilizing an extended version of the critical incident analysis (ECIA). Although it is a classic intercultural research instrument, the use of critical incidents can present methodological problems. Based on a study which was aimed at identifying communication barriers between German and Polish students at a cross-border university, an analysis method which combines traditional qualitative methods with critical incident analysis was created. The ECIA was developed as a response to the common criticisms of approaches based on critical incident analysis. By linking problem-centered interviews (WITZEL, 2000), the introduction of indicators, a codification of data, and expert opinions to critical incident analysis, the ECIA presents an application-oriented qualitative method that can be used to identify specific, relevant sources of problems in intercultural encounters.

URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0901453


critical incidents; combination of methods; German-Polish communication; problem-centered interviews


Copyright (c) 2009 Gundula Gwenn Hiller

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.